There are more mobile than fixed lines in the global South. There are likely to be more mobile phones in the South than the North. That is why “m-development” should be on the agenda. Mobiles have a one-per-user model in the North, but shared-access models in the South. Thus perhaps three or four times more people in the South have access to mobile services than in the North.
Continuing mobile divide
We should take care not to go completely overboard with the hype. Yes, mobiles are now reaching into the poorest communities and livelihoods, but there are still global and national inequalities. There is still a “mobile divide”. Fundamental issues of electricity, coverage, and affordability are still barriers related to accessibility.
Role of the private sector
The state and NGOs have a vital role to play in promoting those aspects of m-development that the private sector cannot cover or address. However, as a generalisation, the m-development activities of the private sector